I (heart) Valentine’s Day

Christmas is long gone …. the new year is a week old … which means it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I love making Valentines to send to my besties, so let’s get this party started!

VAlentine heart of flowers 778 DSC_0779

This one-layered card is relatively easy, and the reveal (when you pull of the mask) is so much fun! I created a heart mask, which I placed in the middle of my cardstock. Then I used some small flower and leaf images to stamp around the mask. Easy peasy. When I removed the mask, ta dah — a heart-shaped spot to stamp a sentiment! The sentiment above is from Stampin’ Up’s Bloomin’ Love set, as are some of the flowers.

Here’s another in the same mode:

Valentines 778 xoxo heart DSC_0777

I could do this all day! The XOXO is a Teresa Collins/Fiskars punch.

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Fabulous Finds Friday: WOW! Pearly Powder!

Wow, I’ve been having fun playing with WOW! new pearl embossing powder, which is especially effective on dark paper.

Check it out:

WOW pearls 725 black cardstock DSC_0780

I used five different colors here, all pearl: red, violet, green, white and blue. (And don’t you love that big background stamp? Also from WOW!) I stamped the background using VersaMark ink, then sprinkled on the various colors to get the mixed effect.

Here’s a closer look that catches the light:

WOW pearl EPs 725 reflecting light DSC_0781

The piece is mounted on a shimmery blue-ish card. “Happy” (from Technique Tuesday) was die cut twice from a silver shimmer scrap and mounted on top. So easy.

Next, I wanted to try the powders on light card stock — a very different look. I wasn’t crazy about my first attempt:

 

WOW pearl EP on white 722 a DSC_0771

It actually looks better in the photo because the background looks darker (not white) and I let the light reflect, but in reality, it was too faint for me. (In my next post, I’ll show how I used it in another way on lighter card stock.) So I added some watercolor just to see what would happen: (Not my best watercoloring efforts! Sheesh.)

WOW pearl EPs light xox 725 DSC_0769

Here’s a detailed look with reflecting light:WOW EPs on white 725 detail DSC_0770

I punched the XOXO several times (from a Fiskars punch), stacked the pieces and glued them together using ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever. Because I stupidly punched the extra XOXOs from white paper, when they were stacked you could see the white edges. To fix that I colored the edges with a black permanent marker. And of course added that necessary touch of shimmer … black Wink of Stella from Kuretake/Zig. I don’t use the black often, but when I need it, well … )

I’ll have some other experiments in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Foiling!

Yes, I am obsessed with foil. I didn’t do a lot of foiling when it first became big because I didn’t have the right tools (including access to a laser printer for printing and foiling).

But my discovery of therm-o-web‘s wide selection of foiling capabilities rocked my world! And I’ve been foil crazy since then.

I started my experimenting by using my Fiskars XOXO punch (see here for more on this punch. My first experiment was to use the punch on  ToW’s adhesive foam. (The adhesive was a tad thick for the punch, but I managed to not mangle it too badly. My foiling was not perfectly smooth, but that’s ok!)

xoxo butterflies 707 DSC_0793

The background was made using Magenta‘s Nuance, a water-soluble powdered coloring agent (similar to Brusho, Ken Oliver’s Color Burst, Cosmo Cricket’s Pixie Paints, etc.) The butterflies were cut from a wonderful new Donna Salazar/Spellbinders die, Cascading Butterflies, then stamped and inked with Ranger Distress Inks (Fossilized Amber, Abandoned Coral, Peacock Feathers, Shabby Shutters). A light mist of Ranger Perfect Pearls gives them a subtle sheen (hard to see here.)

My favorite so far is therm-o-web’s self-adhesive toner sheets. For this card, I first die cut the Stampin’ Up Rose Garden from the toner sheet, then foiled it (using ToW’s iCraft® foils and a Royal Sovereign laminator.) I cut the leaves off and foiled them separately.

foil 715 SU rose DSC_0769

(sentiment by Kaisercraft, gold embossed. Black panel cut using a Spellbinders’ Cele’bration pierced rectangle die)

Never one to toss out a scrap, I used the leftover sheet (the negative left after foiling the rose die) to create this:

foil 715 SU Rose negative DSC_0775

(Sentiment by Technique Tuesday).

I’m obsessed, so there are more foiled projects to come! Thanks for stopping by.

 

Fabulous Finds Friday from Fiskars

(Wow. How many times do you get to write a five-F sentence???? Without using a dirty word?)

Anyway … For cutters, scissors and punches, Fiskars is still golden.

Fiskars has a tool for every need, but my focus is usually on those that are particularly useful for paper crafters.

For example, it was punch lust at first sight when I saw this adorable XOXO punch:

Fiskars xoxo 704 DSC_0772

This was perfect for Valentine’s Day cards — so fast and easy. But I see more uses. I have several weddings coming up and I think this could be a card making winner. Here’s a quick one I made, inspired by some scraps on my desk:

XOXO fiskars 703 DSC_0784

(The sequins are from Lawn Fawn.)

The punch was also perfect for some foiling:

XOXO foil grid bkgrd 707 DSC_0798

(I am somewhat obsessed with foiling since I’ve been playing with various foils and adhesives from Therm O Web. But that’s another post…. stay tuned. The background embossing plate on the above card is the grid folder from Spellbinders. Love it.)

At the Januray CHA show, crafters of all types were checking out the new Paper Trimmer with Aluminum Cut Rail*.

Fiskars paper cutter 704 DSC_0773

I sometimes get a little wobble with smaller personal trimmers, so this should be a boon to my cutting. The reinforced aluminum cut rail (with a locking system) promises to eliminate cutting wobble – which is a problem with my old personal trimmers. (Or maybe it’s me? Either way, this one is a delight.) Other nice features include a paper clamp/smudge guard (something else I need!), a self-leveling extension arm that stretched to 15 inches, and an extra wide base for a bigger work space.

(Here’s my big admission — I was recently working on a small, crowded desk and put the trimmer on my lap so I didn’t have to move to a larger, cleaner work table, assuming I could find one. I know, I know … lazy crafter. Don’t judge. But the good news this, this is so sturdy, it still cut fine with just my flabby thighs for support.)

More exciting Fiskars punches are in the works.

*Fiskars was kind enough to send me this cutter to try. 

Fabulous Fiskars Fuse

I needed a quick gift for a friend and decided some letterpress-like gift tags would be just right.

Using my Fiskars Fuse, I was able to make more than a dozen tags in a about 20 minutes:

Fiskars Fuse machine w tags DSC_0595

The Fuse (which I wrote about in this post) cuts, colors and creates a letterpress impression in one fell swoop. I use regular inks — pigment or dye (although a well-inked pigment pad seems to give better coverage).

Here’s a closer look:
Fiskars Fuse tags detail 658 DSC_0599

The bad news is, Fiskars is no longer promoting the Fuse and I couldn’t find it on the Fiskars Web site. The good news? The Fuse is still available online, just search for it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Fiskars Tag Maker

I love, love, love making tags. There is something so appealing about decorating tiny little surfaces. Having a creative slump? Try making a few tags as a way to prime those creative juices.

The new *Tag Maker Punch from Fiskars is right up my alley. I love that the punch has three functions: it punches the tag shape, punches the hole, and sets an eyelet. Cool, huh? No annoying hammering.

Look what I made in about 10 minutes (it took me longer to find paper scraps than it did to punch these!):

Fiskars tags 596 group shot DSC_0562

I used mostly scraps to make these tags — and we all know how much I adore using my scraps! These tags are fairly simple and quick to make. But you could easily stamp and embellish to make tags with more flair.

There are currently four tag shapes: the rounded top one I show above, a traditional tag cut (like a shipping tag, on my wish list!), and two curvy label-tags with holes on two sides. The tags measure about 2″ x 3″ and the punch handles cardstock up to 80 lbs.

The Tag Maker accommodates two sizes of eyelets: 3/16 and 5/32. According to the company, these are among the brands tested that work: Recollections (Michael’s store brand) 3/16, ColorBok 3/16, Dritz 5/32 and Sewology 5/32. I have not tried any others (because I have to dig them out! I got so tired of having to hammer them in, I stopped using them! This will solve that problem.)

I also love that the Tag Maker perfectly centers the hole.

Here are some closer looks:

Fiskars tags 596 stamped DSC_0563

These were stamped using whatever was handy on my desk, including scraps from other projects (like the bright neon tag!)

Fiskars tags 596 glitter, chpbd DSC_0566

These have some chipboard embellishments (an old K&Company set).

Fiskars tags 596 Distress DSC_0569

Love these tags made using leftover watercolor paper that had been colored with Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains (another must have product).

And finally, look how I used up old greeting cards:

Fiskars tags 596 old greeting cards DSC_0572

For more info, check out the Fiskars video here.

*Disclaimer: This product was provided to me to test by Fiskars.

Hearts and Flowers

Another little Valentine’s Day card:

valentine amazing friend hearts DSC_0335</a

The resist technique is the same I used for a previous post (white emboss text, then using a reverse mask to ink over the text). Bazzill Basics paper; Hero Arts text and sentiment stamps; Fiskars heart punches; ColorBox chalk ink.